BVI: Session 2 - Surprise

Posted: Mon, Jul 27, 2015

Day 20 The last day!

Location: West End, Tortola
Author: Kayla R.
It has been three unforgettable weeks here on Surprise. We visited breathtaking places and made amazing friends. This morning we had an early start and enjoyed our last breakfast together. Shortly after we geared up and got ready for our last dive our the AQ Summer Session II. We had a great last dive and everyone dove with someone new instead of their typical buddy, I got to dive with Alie. We had a fun dive with Ethan, Heather and JC! After the dive we cleaned the whole boat. We were the first boat at the dock therefore we had so much time at port. We all enjoyed the last meal together as a boat. After we explored the port and showered and cleaned up. We had an exciting and emotional last squeeze. We shortly after headed to the BBQ. These last 3 weeks have been amazing and we have all made amazing friends and family. Thanks for an amazing first summer at AQ!

Day 20 Staff Update All The Feels

Location: West End, Tortola
Author: Alisa M.
It s no surprise that this group has continued to grow closer and closer as a boat family. They have built each other up and accomplished so many amazing things over these three very short weeks. To say we, as their instructors, are proud of them is such a terrible understatement. To be able to watch these incredible young people grow and challenge themselves has been a true gift. We saw Ethan develop his diving skills to new heights and successfully crush the Neptune program. Another first time Neptune that really proved themselves and their superior skills was Alie. Chris and Alex (the dynamic duo) were the buddy team to end all buddy teams, usually the first in the water and always the ones initiating the hilarious underwater dance parties. JC and Hugh were the buddies that could do no wrong, each so helpful in so many ways. JC always took such good care of Sumo (our beloved dingy) and Hugh was our go-to-guy for starting our behemoth of a compressor. Rounding out our Neptune program were Heather and Jordan, two AQ vets that have been solid leaders on this boat since the second they stepped onto Surprise’s deck. They set the precedent for everyone else to be just as enthusiastic and positive as they were. Our five Dolphin girls have been such a joy. These girls are full of sunshine, rainbows and surprises. From Peyton, who happy cries at PB&Js, to Hannah who has to list her entire day from start to finish every night when we squeeze and tell our favorite part of the day. It’s gotten to where whenever a shipmate has a particularly fantastic day and can’t pick just one moment they all call it “pulling a Hannah”. Ute has proven to be our champion skipper and really pulled through for us on race day, we may not have won first place but the beaming smile on her face at the end of the day made us feel like we all won. Kayla has sort of taken on the role of big sister or mom in that she always makes sure dinner is being taken care of and that we don’t get too out of hand or too silly. I will never forget this group of thirteen incredible teenagers. I remember our first dinner together and now to see how close they all are is tear jerking. I’ve never seen a group of students create a closer bond in a shorter amount of time. Every one is quick to give kind words of encouragement/ a hug when someone is feeling even the slightest bit down. The level of excitement and pure, unabashed joy that they brought to this boat is astounding and I won’t be able to express to them enough how thankful I am to have had them as shipmates and students. Thank you to the parents of these wonderful students for allowing them to be apart of this experience and thanks also for raising some of the coolest kids I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. I don’t want them to leave.

Posted: Sat, Jul 25, 2015

Day 18 Rock The Boat, Rock The Boat Baby!

Location: Great Harbor, Peter Island
Author: Hugh S.
This morning we woke up to a plentiful breakfast of cereal and an early morning sail to wreck alley, which is nestled between Salt and Cooper Island. We sailed from GHP across the Drake at a pleasant 6-7 knots. I enjoyed sitting up in the power tower with Marina and Peyton. Once we moored we set up our dive gear and after our dive briefing we entered the water. For the Neptunes, we had our third wreck cert dive, while the Dolphins did their last research dive. The Neptunes learned how to run a reel on a wreck. After pumping tanks we entered the ocean once again for our wreck penetration dive. Dolphins had a fun dive in the afternoon. When we were finished we pulled out our jib and flew back to GHP. We had a very relaxing sail back. Upon returning we took salt water showers off the back, as the chefs prepared breakfast for dinner. Now the Neptunes are preparing for the final cert exams as Dolphins prep their research project presentations. All in all today was amazing.

Peace and Love from Surprise

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